Notes for Doll Dresses to crochet
Once you make sweaters for your doll, you may want to complete an outfit so a sweater has something to go with. That way, you have control over your colors and shapes and how fancy you want it to be. The jumper starts with the skirt, with the bodice added. The dress starts with the bodice, with the skirt added.
Figure 50 grams, or one small skein, of DK or sport weight yarn for a jumper, with a hook to match (4mm is good). A fuller skirt and more solid bodice take more yarn, so you will need a second skein for the dress. The light blue dress took part of a 2nd skein of yarn.
Other materials / tools: measuring tape, markers (safety pins work well), yarn needle for finishing, buttons. The size chart is useful, too:
waist 11” across back at shoulders 5”
bust 11-1/2” armhole depth 2”
hip 13” waist to knee 6”
around neck 6” neck to waist 4”
For the jumper: Starting at the waist, make a row of foundation stitch that fits around the waist. This one is worked in plain double crochet. In the next row, increase by 1/3 – so work 2 stitches, then increase 1 – all the way across. Join in a circle, and continue in rounds for the desired length. Decide whether the row-end seam is the center back (as I did) or at the left side of the skirt, which works fine, too.
The amount of increase at the beginning is good for a fairly straight skirt – sensible for something like a school uniform. For a true A-line skirt, increase 10% (stitch 9, then 2 stitches in the next stitch) every 4th row. For a swirly skirt (very full), you’d be making something that is basically a mat with a hole in the middle (for the waist) – so increase 12 every row in double crochet or 6 every row in single crochet.
Once the skirt is done, fasten off and re-join to make the front. Attach a pin at each side edge to show where the first row begins and ends. I switched to light single crochet for something different (this stitch uses an odd number of stitches in a row): With the right side facing, join yarn with a slip stitch at one pin. Ch1. *Sc in next st, *skip 1, ch1, sc1.** Repeat from * across the row, ending with a sc at the 2nd pin or the stitch before it. Ch1 to turn, and repeat from * to ** for the pattern stitch. Repeat this row for the pattern, with sc in sc and chain over chain in each row, until the front is as long as the armhole depth. Remove the marker pins, if you haven’t already.
Make the Straps: *Make a chain that is long enough to reach over the shoulder and down to the back waist – about 6 inches – count your stitches because you want the 2nd strap to be the same _____. Turn, sc across, ending with a slip stitch at the top edge of the front. (Ch1, turn, and single crochet along the strap) two more rows to make the strap wide enough, ending at the top of the front. Stitch over to 4 stitches from the end of the row. To make the other strap: repeat from * for the second strap, ending up at the top corner of the front.
Take a moment to attach a pin about a third of the way in from each side of the back at the waist – this is where the button loops will go.
Edging: With the right side facing, ch1. Sc down the side of the front, making 1sc in each row end. Continue along the waist edge to the first marker pin. Ch2, don’t skip any stitches, and sc along the edge to the center back where the row ends of the skirt are. Sc along the edge of the dip, making a little placket where a snap will go later. Continue to sc to the next marker. Ch2, don’t skip any stitches, and sc along the waist edge, up the other side of the front (making 1sc into each row end), and ending at the top corner of the front. Slip stitch to finish off, and cut the yarn. Remove all marker pins.
Sew a button at the end of each strap, fitting the jumper on the doll to make sure it is positioned correctly.
Add a snap closure at the little placket at the center back of the skirt. Tuck in all loose ends.
The dress starts with the bodice. In this sample, I started at the center back, working the rows up and down the schematic, across the back, then across the front, and finishing in the center of the back on the other side.
Pattern stitch: over an even number of stitches: ch1 to turn, sc1, dc1 across, ending with dc1 in the last stitch. Repeat row for pattern.
Starting at the waist, make a foundation row about 6” long, up to the back neck – note the number of stitches _____. Stitch in patt for 2-1/2 inches to reach the side of the back, ending at the lower edge. Note the number of rows _____.
Next row, stitch only to the underarm, ending with a dc in the last stitch. Note the number of stitches _____. Continue even for 1” for underarm, ending at the lower edge. Next row, stitch across, then continue the row with foundation stitches, ending up with the same number of stitches you started with.
Continue following the schematic, skipping stitches or adding foundation stitches at the end of the row when shaping happens. Notice that the neckline in the front is a bit blocky looking. That gets smoothed out with the edging row.
When the whole thing is done, finish off and start the skirt: With the wrong side facing, join the yarn at the bottom of the center back. Working 1 stitch into each row end, sc across. Next row: ch2, turn. Continue in double crochet for the skirt. *Dc1 in next stitch, dc2 in next stitch. Repeat from * across row, ending the round with a slip stitch in the top of the ch2 at the beginning of the row. This increases for the fullness of the skirt. For the rest of the skirt: ch2, do not turn, dc in each dc of previous round, and finish with a slip stitch in the top of the starting ch2 from the beginning of the round. Work even for about 6 inches, or desired length of skirt. Stitch 1 row of crab stitch for a finished edge. Finish off.
The next part is only a little tricky, and the instructions sound harder than they really are.
Join the shoulder seams, edge the armholes, and add button band and button loops to back, all in one swell foop. Here’s how: with the wrong side facing, join yarn at top of center back.
1. (Button band) Ch1. Sc in each stitch down to the waist.
2. Ch1, turn, sc back up to the neck.
3. Ch1, rotate piece and sc along shoulder edge to the armhole, making 1sc for each row end.
4. Ch1, rotate piece and sc around the armhole, making 1sc in each stitch or row end, ending up at the top armhole edge of the front.
5. Match up the front and back to join one shoulder seam.
6. Sc1, sl st in matching st on other shoulder, to join. *Skip 1 st, sc in next st, then sl st in matching st on other shoulder.
7. Repeat from * across the shoulder, ending with a sc at one side of the neck edge.
8. Sc around the neck edge, and across the other front shoulder.
9. Ch1, sc around the other armhole, like before.
10. Then join the other shoulder like you did before.
11. Ch1, rotate the piece to continue down the center back.
12. Sc along the center back, adding ch-2 loops evenly spaced for the button-loops, ending at the waist-end of the bodice.
13. Without turning the piece, ch1. Crab stitch back up to the neck edge, making 2 crab stitches in each button-loop.
Finish off. Sew on buttons. Tuck in loose ends.